I'm anticipating that when I get to the genealogies where it states the family line of Jesus there will be some protest. No need to worry. This will just be an extension of the double standard with which atheists treat any and all of these documents from antiquity. In the atheist mind, the very fact that these independent documents were later compiled into the New Testament renders them not just suspect, but totally untrustworthy. Nevertheless, this is for you Glen.
Remember, if someone was trying to identify whether or not someone was, indeed, the promised Messiah, the suspected Messiah would have to fit these criteria.
Born of a virgin
The Prophecy - Isaiah 7:14 (Written about 690 years before Jesus was born).
“Therefore the Lord himself will give you a sign. Behold, a virgin will be with child and bear a son and she will call his name Immanuel.” (Since everyone did it, this would not be much of a sign if it was just a man marrying a virgin or a young girl)
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 18:24 & 25 (Matthew - Historian, friend and follower of Jesus and an eyewitness to the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus).
“She was found to be with child by the Holy Spirit, and Joseph kept her a virgin until she gave birth to a son.”
From the seed of Abraham
The Prophecy - Genesis 22:18 (Written about 1440 years before Jesus was born)
“And in your seed all the nations of the world shall be blessed.” (God speaking to Abraham).
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 1:1
“The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.”
This determines that of all the races of the world, we could look for The Saviour to come from the Hebrew race.
Son of Isaac
The Prophecy - Genesis 21:12 (Written about 1440 years before Jesus was born).
“For Isaac is the son through whom My promise will be fulfilled.” (See Matthew chapter 1for a continuation of Jesus’ genealogy record)
Abraham had two sons. God eliminates one half of the lineage of Abraham in prophesying the lineage of Jesus.
Son of Jacob
The Prophecy - Numbers 24:17 (Written about 1400 years before Jesus was born)
“I see in the future of Israel, far down the distant trail that there shall come a star from Jacob, this ruler of Israel.”
Isaac had two sons. God eliminates one half of the lineage of Isaac prophesying the lineage of Jesus
Tribe of Judah
The Prophecy - Genesis 49:10 (Written about 1440 years before Jesus was born).
“The sceptre shall not depart from Judah until Shiloh comes and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.”
Jacob had 12 sons out of which came the 12 tribes of Israel. God eliminates eleven of the twelve tribes of Israel in prophesying the lineage of Jesus.
Family line of Jesse
The Prophecy - Isaiah 11:1 (Written about 690 years before Jesus was born).
“The royal line of Jesse will be cut off, chopped down like a tree. But from the stump will grow a shoot, yes a new branch, the Messiah from the old root.”
House of David
The Prophecy - Isaiah 23:5 (Written about 690 years before Jesus was born).
“ For the time is coming says the Lord, when I will place a righteous branch upon King David’s throne. He shall be a King who shall rule with wisdom and justice.”
Jesse had at least eight sons. Now God eliminates all of Jesse’s sons except David in prophesying the lineage of Jesus.
Born at Bethlehem
The Prophecy - Micah 5:2 - (Written about 750 years before Jesus was born)
“O Bethlehem you are but a small Judean village, yet you will be the birthplace of my King who is alive from ages past.
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 2:1
“Jesus was born in the town of Bethlehem of Judea.”
God, in prophecy, now eliminates all the cities and towns in the world but one for the entrance of His Son to planet earth.
Preceded by a messenger
The Prophecy - Isaiah 40:3 (Written about 690 years before Jesus was born).
“I hear a voice calling in the wilderness, make a road for the Lord.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 3:1
“John the Baptist came preaching in the wilderness.”
Ministry to begin in Galilee
The Prophecy - Isaiah 9:1 (Written about 690 years before Jesus was born).
“But there will be no more gloom for her who was in anguish in the land of Zebulun and Neaphtali, by the way of the sea on the other side of the Jordan, Galilee of the gentiles.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 4:12
“He withdrew into Galilee and leaving Nazareth He came and settled in Capernaum, which is by the sea, in the region of Zebulun and Neaphtale. From that time Jesus began to preach.”
Ministry of Miracles
The Prophecy - Isaiah 35:5 & 6 (Written about 690 years before Jesus was born).
“Then the eyes of the blind will be opened, the ears of the deaf will be unstopped, the lame will leap like deer, the tongue of the dumb will shout for joy.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 11:4 & 5
Jesus said, “Tell John about the miracles you’ve seen Me do, the blind I’ve healed, the deaf who hear and the dead raised to life. And tell him about Me preaching the good news.”
Teacher of parables
The Prophecy - Psalm 78:2 (Written over many centuries but completed about 300 years before Jesus was born).
“I will open my mouth in a parable. I will utter dark sayings of old.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 13:14
“All these things spoke Jesus to the multitudes in parables and He was not talking to them without a parable.”
Enter Jerusalem on a donkey
The Prophecy - Zechariah 9:9 (Written about 520 years before Jesus was born)
“Rejoice greatly oh My people, shout with joy, for look, your King is coming , He is the righteous one, the victor, yet He is lowly, riding on a donkey’s colt.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 21:2,4, & 5
“Just as you enter the village you will find a donkey tied there with its colt beside it. Untie them and bring them here.”
Stumbling stone to the unbelievers
The Prophecy - Psalm 118:22 (Written over many centuries but completed about 300 years before Jesus was born).
“The stone which the builders rejected, has become the corner stone.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - 1 Peter 2:7 (Peter was one of Jesus’ closest friends and followers. In any list of disciples, Peter’s name always appears first. Peter was an eyewitness to the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus)
“He is very precious to you who believe and to those who reject Him, well the same stone that was rejected by the builders has become the cornerstone. He is the stone that some will stumble over and the rock that will make them fall. They will stumble because they will not listen to God’s word or obey it.”
The Prophecy - Psalm 16:10 (Written over many centuries but completed about 300 years before Jesus was born).
“For you will not leave me among the dead. You will not allow your beloved one to rot in the grave.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Acts 2:31
“He was neither abandoned to hades nor did His flesh suffer decay.”
(Acts was written by Luke. He was a physician and a historian of extraordinary detail and accuracy. The Gospel bearing his name was the work of what today might be called investigative journalism. Luke was a convert to Christianity and took part in the ministry of the early Church).
The following were prophesied from 1000 - 500 years before Jesus was born but were all fulfilled in one day.
>Betrayed by a friend
The Prophecy - Psalm 41:9 - “Even my close friend in whom I trusted, who ate my bread has lifted up his heel against me.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 26:49 & 56 - “So now Judas came straight to a Jesus and embraced Him in a friendly manner. Jesus said, “My friend, go and do what you have come for.”
Sold for 30 Pieces of silver
The Prophecy - Zephaniah 11:12 - “If you like give me my pay, what ever I’m worth. So they counted out 30 silver coins.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 26:15 - “Judas asked how much will you pay me and they gave him 30 silver coins.”
Money thrown into God’s house
The Prophecy - Zechariah 11:13 - “And the Lord told me, toss it into the temple treasury this magnificent sum they value you at. So I took the thirty coins and threw them in.”
The fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 27:5 - “And he threw the pieces of silver into the sanctuary and departed.”
Forsaken by his disciples
The Prophecy - Zechariah 13:7 - “Strike down the shepherd and the sheep will scatter.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 26:56 - “Jesus said, This is all happening to fulfil the words of the prophets. At that point all the disciples deserted Him and fled.”
Accused by false witness
The Prophecy - Psalm 35:11 - “These evil men swear to a lie. They accuse me of things I have never even heard about.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 26:59 - “The entire Jewish supreme court assembled and looked for witnesses who would lie about Jesus.”
Quiet before his accusers
The Prophecy - Isaiah 53:7 - “He was oppressed and He was afflicted yet He never said a word.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 27:12 - “And while He was being accused by the chief priests and elders, he made no answer.”
Hands and feet pierced
The Prophecy - Psalm 22:16 - “They pierced my hands and feet.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Luke 23:33 - “And when they came to the place called the skull, they crucified him.”
Crucifixion had not come into the Jewish system until hundreds of years after Psalms was written. It was unheard of at the time of Psalms.
Made intercession for his persecutors
The Prophecy - Isaiah 53:12 - “Yet He bore the sin of many and interceded for the transgressors.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Luke 23:34 - “Father forgive them, for they do not know what they are doing.”
Hated without cause
The Prophecy - Psalm 69:4 - “Those who hate me without a cause are more than the hairs of my head.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - John 15:25 - “Jesus said, “But they have done this in order that the word may be fulfilled - They hated Me without cause.”
Friends stood afar off
The Prophecy - Psalm 38:11 - My loved ones and my friends stay away, even my own family stands at a distance.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Luke 23:49 - “All His acquaintances and the women who accompanied Him from Galilee were standing at a distance seeing these things.”
People shook their heads
The Prophecy - Psalm 109:25 - I also have become a reproach to them. When they see me they wag their heads.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 27:39 - Those who were passing by were hurling abuse at Him, wagging their heads.”
Garments parted and lots cast
The Prophecy - Psalm 22:18 - They divided my garments among them and for my clothing they cast lots.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - John 19:23 & 24 - The soldiers took his outer garments and made four parts. They said “lets not tear the tunic, but cast lots for it.” (John was Jesus’ closest friend. He looked after Jesus’ mother after her son’s execution. He was an eyewitness to the ministry, death and resurrection of Jesus).
Gall and vinegar offered Him
The Prophecy - Psalm 69:21 - They gave me gall for my food. For my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 27:34 - They gave him vinegar to drink mingled with gall and after tasting it, He was unwilling to drink.
His forsaken cry
The Prophecy - Psalm 22:1 - “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 27:46 - About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken Me.”
Committed himself to God
The Prophecy - Psalm 31:5 - “Into they hand I commit My spirit.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 27:46 - Jesus cried out with a loud voice, “Father into thy hands I commit My spirit.”
Bones not broken
The Prophecy - Psalm 34:20 - He keeps all his bones, not one of them is broken.”
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - John 19:33 - When they saw that He was already dead, they did not break his legs.”
His side pierced
The Prophecy - Zechariah 12:10 - They will look on me whom they have pierced.
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - John 19:34 - But one of the soldiers pierced His side with a spear.
Darkness at noon
The Prophecy - Amos 8:9 - I shall make the sun go down at noon and make the earth dark in broad daylight.
The Fulfilment of that Prophecy - Matthew 27:45 - Now from the sixth hour darkness fell upon all the land until the ninth hour.
Buried in a rich man’s grave
The Prophecy - Isaiah 53:9 - He was buried like a criminal in a rich man’s grave.”
The Prophecy - Matthew 27:57 - There came a rich man from Arimathea and took the body and laid it in his own tomb.
Jesus had no control over the prophecies about:
1. Place of birth
2. Time of birth
3. Manner of birth
5. Manner of death
6. People’s reaction
7 Piercing, and
Once again, think about these words:
Professor Peter Stoner, Editor of ‘Science Digest’ has calculate that the odds of the 20 prophecies of what happened to Jesus on the last day of His life here on earth, to be 10 ^ -157, against them coming true in one man, accidentally. Scientists agree that 10 ^ -50 is the same as zero - impossible.
To those who encountered Him but refused to believe what He taught, Jesus had this to say.
(John 5:46 & 47) Jesus said, “It is not I who will accuse you before the Father, Moses will. For you have refused to believe Moses. He wrote about Me but you refuse to believe him, so you refuse to believe Me. Since you don’t believe what Moses wrote, no wonder you don’t believe Me either.”
(Matthew 13:17) Jesus said, “For I tell the truth, many prophets longed to see what you see and hear what you hear.”
(Mark 12:36) Jesus said, “When David spoke, the Holy Spirit was speaking through him when he said it.”
(John 10:34) Jesus said, “The Scriptures cannot be untrue.”
To neglect such awesome evidence will surely come at an awesome cost. Jesus promises however that to respond positively will come with an awesome reward.
Jesus was talking about the same Scriptures we have today. In the next two verses, Jesus indicates that “all” of the Old Testament included prophecy of His coming.
(Luke 24:25 & 27) “How foolish you have been and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken.” And beginning with the Law and all the Prophets, Jesus explained to them what was said in all the Scripture about Him.”
(Luke 24:44) Jesus said, “Everything must be fulfilled that is written about Me in the law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.”
I think you also asked about the AD70 reference.
Before I get to that let me remind of Isaiah 52:13 - 53:12. This is probably the most famous references to Messiah. It’s worth a read if your memory is fuzzy.
. In 2 Chronicles 7:19-22 God says if Israel's sin reaches a certain level, He'll destroy the temple, exile the people, and leave them in a state of judgement. This comes to pass.
. Daniel 9:24 says that God will have mercy on His people. God gives a revelation about the temple being rebuilt. BEFORE THIS temple is destroyed several things are going to take place, including the bringing of everlasting atonement - the final dealing with sin. The important reference isn't to AD70. The important reference is to the temple being destroyed and Messiah coming prior to that date - which of course Jesus did.
. The prophet Haggi 2:6-9 lives to see the second temple built but it is nothing like the first. Yet, Haggi said that the glory of the second temple will be greater than the first. God would fill the second temple with His glory. When God says He’ll fill the temple with His glory, that can only apply to His presence.
. The prophet Malachi 3:1-5 says the Lord will come to his temple, purifying some of His people and bringing judgment to others. Malachi uses a Hebrew term that always refers to God Himself: the Lord - He will come to that temple.
. Because the second temple was destroyed in AD70 atonement for sin had to be made and the divine visitation had to take place prior to the temple being destroyed.
What divine visitation did take place if not for Jesus?
When else did God visit the second temple in a personal way?
Who else atoned for sin?
How else was the glory of the second temple greater than the first?
Either the Messiah came two thousand years ago or the prophets were wrong and we can discard the Bible. But the prophets weren’t wrong.
Some at this point will say that Jesus didn’t bring peace to earth, as prophecies say will happen. The Talmud asks whether the Messiah will come with the clouds of heaven as is written in Daniel 7:13 AND as Jesus told the High Priest that He would when He comes again, or gentle and riding on a donkey, as in Zechariah 9:9. The rabbis said if we’re worthy, he’ll come with the clouds of heaven, meaning swiftly and powerfully; if we’re unworthy, he’ll come meek and lowly. They believed (we know in hindsight that it was in error), it’s an either / or situation. Actually it’s both / and. They’re both true of the same person.
So, in summary, God’s intent was never to keep Israel as an isolated nation , but that through Israel the entire world will come to know the one true God. That has always been his heart. We see in the Scriptures that this messianic figure will be both priestly and royal - He will deal with sin as well as rule and reign. He will first suffer before He is raised up and exalted; He will both come riding on a donkey meek and lowly, as well as come in clouds of glory. He will first be rejected by His people and will be a light to the nations. He will suffer terribly for our sins as a righteous substitute. The power of His deliverance from death will cause the ends of the earth to worship the one true God. We also see that redemption had to come and there had to be a divine visitation before the second temple was destroyed in AD. So who is it? Either the Bible is false or the Messiah was and is Jesus. This is not speculation. This is historical fact.